Pediatric COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy based on parents' attitudes towards mandatory and recommended vaccination in Southern Italy
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University of Pisa, Italy
Dipartimento di Prevenzione ASL Lecce, Italy
University of Salento, Italy
Dipartimento prevenzione ASL Lecce, Italy
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A2002
Background and Objective: The Comirnaty-Pfizer anti-COVID19 vaccination for 5-11 years population was approved in Italy on 01/12/21. In this study, we investigate the anti-COVID19 vaccine hesitancy in eligible children in Lecce (Apulia, Italy) based on parents’ attitudes towards mandatory and recommended vaccination, according to the National Immunization Plan (NIP) and the National Law Decree that introduced mandatory vaccinations in infants and adolescents in Italy. Methods: Using data collected within the vaccination registry of Apulia Region (Southern Italy) up to 15/11/2022 for birth cohorts 2011-2017, we evaluated for each subject the adherence to the NIP vaccine schedule. Since we wanted to investigate attitudes towards vaccination, we considered the first shot of each schedule relevant for our analysis, regardless of when it was administered. Multiple logistic regression was used to analyze associations between age, sex, adherence to mandatory vaccinations, number of recommended vaccinations and anti-COVID19 vaccination. Results: A total of 42,173 subjects were included in the study, 21,361 (50.7%) of which received at least one dose of anti-COVID19 vaccine. The number of recommended vaccinations was found to be associated with anti-COVID19 vaccination (OR 1.50; 95%CI [1.46-1.53]; p<0.000001). The compliance to mandatory vaccinations was a predictor for anti-COVID19 vaccination. (OR=1.46; 95%CI [1.23-1.75]; p<0.000001). Probability of being vaccinated against COVID19 increased with age. (OR=1.33; 95%CI [1.31-1.34]; p<0.000001). No significant relationship was found between sex and anti-COVID19 vaccination. Conclusions: Our results show a clear association between previous vaccinations and anti-COVID19 vaccination in a sample of around 42,000 infants in Southern Italy. Despite the same recommendation for anti-COVID19 vaccination for children from 5 to 11 years, we identified a lower vaccine coverage for younger children. The COVID19 pandemic had no positive impact on vaccine hesitancy as attitudes towards previous vaccinations were confirmed for the COVID19 vaccine.
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